Kickstarting a Sexier Slasher With 'Friday the 13th: The Game'

Horror multiplayer hopes to sidestep the industry.

Update: As of Thursday the 12th, this Kickstarter was successful. Somewhere in America, these guys are having the best 13th ever.

The world is only eight days and $80k away from unleashing horror’s deadliest murder machine on an unsuspecting world.

Last year, the team at Gun Media put together a Kickstarter for a game called Slasher, which would feature episodic levels based on classic horror franchises, opening with a “Summer Camp” scare-a-thon. The mechanics of the game featured a group of multiplayer teenagers battling a player controlled murder machine with a giant knife and a supernatural ability to teleport directly behind unsuspecting victims. It was a pretty cool arrangement for a group survival horror experience, but got bailed on when a better opportunity came around.

The owner of the Friday the 13th intellectual property reached out to the game designers, and asked if they’d prefer to make a licensed version of the game, instead of just a very sincere homage. Thanks to some retooling, and almost a year of extra work, Summer Camp is now the first Friday the 13th gaming IP since the 1989 Nintendo nightmare that featured a rotating group of teenagers assaulted by zombies, wolves, and yes — angry birds.

Now, with a production team in place that even includes Dismemberment Adviser Tom Savini, the real question is why not just partner this game with a publisher instead of asking the internet for capital?

From the game’s Kickstarter page:

Great question. We love working with publishers, most of them are great companies to work alongside. Fans of the Friday the 13th film series know that when it comes to Jason Voorhees, violence, gore and nudity aren’t just concepts to consider – they’re necessities. Collectively, we wanted to make certain that this game delivers the same kind of fun, brutal scares and creative kills that the franchise is known for and didn’t want to risk having to tell our story with a “T” for Teen rating. We don’t want that. You don’t want that.
We’re not interested in compromising what made the film franchise so popular. We’re interested in building precisely what we, as fans, want. The ultimate Friday the 13th experience. Blood, guts, gore, brutal kills, and more. You want an experience true to the films, and so do we. It’s about creative control and delivering the best game we can. We want to share that control, with you, not a publisher.

Which is a bold, important, and crucial step. The idea of being able to focus on a spiritually-consistent interactive experience based in such a well-known franchise would mean that the fiscal freedom could help separate F13 from generations of terrible film licensed gaming, including its own.

Again, from the fundraising page:

Friday the 13th: The Video Game is focused mainly on the Jason vs Counselor scenarios that have been the staple of the series since the beginning; you will be playing as Jason or a camp counselor in Camp Crystal Lake. The multiplayer component to the game will pit one player as Jason against up to seven people as counselors. We’ve dedicated an incredible amount of time to balancing out counselor vs. Jason scenarios to ensure fans are every bit as excited by the possibility of slaying jocks, nerds, and cheerleaders as Jason Voorhees, while simultaneously giving you that sense of challenge and fear from being a counselor.
One of our major goals is overcoming the stigma that some players have about asymmetrical multiplayer games. We know the worst feeling in the world of multiplayer gaming is believing you are ‘stuck’ and ‘without hope’. Horror in general, but specifically Friday the 13th, lends itself well to this style of game. The premise plus our game design consideration will overcome this dilemma and we can prove that asymmetrical multiplayer can work, be balanced, fun and frightening as hell.

While Jason can be an immensely daunting, seemingly unstoppable force, he is able to be brought down with an ‘epic’ win condition. It’ll be difficult, require some teamwork, and perhaps a bit of ingenuity, but we’ll be giving you the tools and opportunities to realize the biggest win in horror gaming. That sense of relief at the end, knowing you stopped the biggest and baddest killer in the world is not something to take lightly… We hope that this becomes a proud gaming moment for everyone that achieves it, one worth sharing and boasting to the world about. Lest you be worried, Jason will always come back for more!

It is of course a little off-putting when you initially encounter big Hollywood names asking for donations to see vanity projects realized, so coming to grips with the idea that even a licensed title of this size can still be an underdog title, requires a big shift of expectations. But as a fan of survival horror’s popular expansion, and what the success of a creatively unlimited title like this could mean across the board for mature titles in the gaming world, doing whatever we can to see F13 get across the finish line seems like a no-brainer.

You can find out more about the title at the Kickstarter page here.] (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/613356213/friday-the-13th-the-game)

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